77. Weddings and a Baby Boom

Marilyn Seville

Marilyn Seville was mum’s friend and second cousin. Her grandmother, Bertha, was sister to grandma’s mother (see Chapter 32 for details). Marilyn married James (Jim) Rankin in Driffield on 2 April 1960.

At the end of March, mum had gone to Mansfield with grandma and had bought Marilyn a wooden spoon, presumably as a wedding present. I confess I found this a slightly odd present given its association for me as a sporting booby prize. However, apparently, there is a long history of giving wooden spoons as wedding presents.

The day before the wedding, mum had her hair set in the morning. She, dad, Tricia and grandma left Kirkby at 12.50 and collected Auntie Bertha from Mansfield en route. They arrived in Driffield around quarter to four. The wedding took place the next day at Driffield church at 12 noon and mum simply noted that she had a “very nice time”. More details of the wedding are provided in a newspaper cutting among mum’s papers. Marilyn had five bridesmaids, including Jennifer her sister. Jim was a sergeant in the RAF and Marilyn herself had trained and worked as a radiographer although it seems to be assumed she would stop working now that she was married.

Marilyn and Jim cutting the cake
Newspaper cutting from Marilyn and Jim’s wedding
 Jim and Marilyn outside the church
 Jim and Marilyn with best man and bridesmaids
Marilyn with her bridesmaids
Mum, grandma and Tricia among those arriving for the wedding. This is two months before I was born so mum was seven months pregnant
Jim and Marilyn with Tricia
Jim and Marilyn

Jamie Rankin

At the end of May 1960, mum noted that grandma told her that Marilyn was expecting a baby in September. It is interesting that Marilyn did not tell mum herself. This may not be significant but you do not need to be a mathematical genius to work out that Marilyn must have been about four months pregnant when she got married in April.

On 21 August 1960, mum noted that Marilyn had been taken into hospital because of complications. However, all seemed to go well and James (Jamie) Edward was born on the 23rd weighing 8lbs 7ozs (3.83kg).

Jamie Rankin, Christmas 1960

Joanne Rankin

One year later, to the day, Marilyn had a baby girl, Joanne Munro, weighing in at 8lbs (3.63kg).

Later photograph of Jamie and Joanne Rankin

Third Cousins

Jamie, Joanne and their subsequent siblings (Jonathan and Richard) were our third cousins, i.e. we had common great, great grandparents.

 Jim and Marilyn with their four children – Jamie, Joanne, Jonathan and Richard

Other Weddings

There were other weddings during this period.

Christine Searson and Peter Nuttall

In August 1961, grandma went to see Christine Searson get married to Peter Nuttall at the Hill Methodist Church (see Chapter 54).

I mentioned this to Christine Nuttall when I was in touch with her concerning her mother’s book. She recalled that it was not grandma who attended her wedding but mum. However, on that day, grandad wrote, “Christine Searson was married at the Hill Methodist, Ethel went as guest also helper”. Mum’s diary for that day does not mention the wedding. Indeed, it says she went with dad and friends, Barbara and Dennis Sell, to see Bruce Forsyth in Yarmouth. Christine later wrote to me saying “you are… correct when you say Ethel Parkin was at my wedding. A group of women did the meal and she was… one of those people”.

The Searson Family

The Searsons were a family that were actively involved in Trinity Methodist Church. They are mentioned several times in mum and grandad’s diaries. Edith Searson is also mentioned (p98) in the book by Gerald Ashley, Sylvia Sinfield and Gerald Lee entitled Kirkby in Old Photographs. In the 1980s, she wrote a book(let) of her reminiscences entitled “I remember”. In 2021, I made contact with her daughter Christine Nuttall who kindly gave me a copy of the book(let).

Glenice Blount and Brian Marriott

In December 1961, mum went to see Glenice Blount get married to Brian Marriott also at the Hill Methodist Church.

I assume Glenice was someone mum knew through chapel. She is mentioned elsewhere once in mum’s diary. A decade earlier, in October 1951, she came for tea with Gillian Dulson and Phyllis and Jack Attwood and their sons John and Norman.

John Overfield and Margaret Franks

In April 1962, on Easter Monday, an old friend of mum and dad’s, John Overfield, got married to Margaret Franks. Grandad noted that the wedding was also at the Hill Methodist Church as Trinity was not ready. However, the reception was held in the Sunday School building at Trinity. Interestingly, mum makes no note of this wedding in her diary.

Margaret Christian

In May 1962, grandad also noted the wedding of Margaret Christian at St Thomas’. As far as I know, he did not know her although her name is included in those who gave a recitation at the Bourne Primary Sunday School Anniversary in June 1951 and she won a prize in the Bourne Sunday School primary prizegiving in 1952 (see Chapter 54). However, grandad did note that she was 16 years and 2 days old! From FreeBMD, it seems she married a Raymond Mawbey and they had a son Philip born in Mansfield in Q3 1962.

Jean Robinson

In August 1962, while we were in Kirkby at the time of Alan’s christening, grandad noted that grandma and Tricia went on the bus to Trinity Methodist Church for the wedding of Jean Robinson. On FreeBMD, there are details of two Jean Robinsons marrying in Basford in that quarter. One married David Whittaker and the other Samuel Tomlinson. I am not sure which one this was. Mum noted that she did not go as she looked after Kathryn Leach to allow Mary and Derrick to attend.

Helen Wright and John Jay

In August 1963, grandad noted that grandma and Florrie Booth went to Trinity for the wedding of Helen Wright (to John Jay). She was the daughter of Tom Wright who was adopted by Philip and Mary Newcombe. She was active in Trinity Methodist Church. Currently, she is an active member of the Kirkby Living Memory Facebook group and lives in Suffolk.

Wedding of Helen Wright and John Jay. I am grateful to Helen Jay for this photo and for permission to use it. She notes that they were officially married by the Anglican Minister, Rev Roy  Ingamells, a friend of John Jay’s.

Marion Slater and Raymond Stephens

In mum’s photo albums, there is a photograph of the wedding of Marion Slater and Raymond Stephens on Easter Saturday in April 1961. I think Marion took over from mum as leader of Junior Sunday School in January 1958. She visited mum regularly from when Tricia was born until we moved to Norwich. She also visited us in Norwich in February 1961.

I am fairly confident that mum did not attend this wedding as on that day she was in Norwich hosting a visit from Ron and Barbara Rowe and their daughter Sharon. Presumably, Marion either sent the photo to mum or she may have given it to her on one of our visits to Kirkby, e.g. in June 1961 when mum noted seeing Marion.

Wedding of Marion Slater and Raymond Stephens

Shirley Sadler and Les Vryenhoef

In July 1961, mum and dad did attend the wedding of mum’s schoolfriend, Shirley Sadler to Lesley (Les) Vryenhoef at St Jude’s in Mapperley, Nottingham.  The wedding was at 11am  and this meant mum and dad spending the previous night in Kirkby. Tricia and I did not go with them. We stayed with grandma and grandad at home in Norwich. The reception was held at Grange Farm (see Chapter 66) and mum noted that it had been “lovely”.

Above and below – wedding of Shirley Sadler and Les Vryenhoef

Lynne Evans and Barry Price

Also, although it is not mentioned in either mum’s or grandad’s diaries, Lynne Evans married Barry Price on 16 May 1964 in Kirkby. Also, there are photos of that in one of grandma’s albums. While it is possible that mum or grandma went to the wedding, I don’t think this is likely. Grandad recorded that a birthday party for Tricia was held on this day and that grandma went.

Wedding of Lynne Evans and Barry Price in May 1964
Barry and Lynne with Tony Pacey and Carole Holland. Carole and Lynne were cousins, that is Lynne’s father (Roy) and Carole’s mother (Olive) were brother and sister. Tony and Carole married in 1965
I think Lynne’s family are on the right of the photo (to her left). From left to right, I think they are Kath (her mother), Anne (her sister), Tony and Carole, Roy (her father), Alma (see text below) and Eva (her grandmother

A Registry Office Wedding?

I don’t know if there is any significance to the way Lynne is dressed. Perhaps they were married in a Registry Office and not in church.

Roy Evan’s Family

Roy Evans, Lynne’s father, had married (Kathleen Kemp) in 1941 and they had two daughters, Lynne (born 1944) and Anne (born 1950). In March 1959, Roy’s father, Arthur Evans died and Roy is not mentioned again in either diary until August 1962. During that period, his wife Kath is mentioned 33 times. This made me wonder if Roy and Kath had perhaps separated or divorced. This seems to have been the case as, in August 1962, brother and sister, Roy and Olive come to pick up their mother Eva from grandma and grandad’s. Olive is accompanied by her husband Alf and Roy by his “friend”, Alma.

Roy and Alma

Roy and Alma appear relatively frequently in the diaries after that. For example, in 1963, when grandma and grandad came to Norwich for the day to see a piece of land, it was Roy and Alma that brought them. I don’t know if Roy and Alma ever married. I have not found any evidence that they did.

Neither mum nor grandad addressed the issue directly in their diaries. They just seemed to accept the situation. However, following Alma’s appearance, Kath, Anne and Lynne only appear once in mum’s diaries for this period. This may or may not be of significance as, of course, at this point we were living quite far away from them in Norwich. In mum’s 1959-1963 diary, there is an address entry for Lynne and Anne. This is for what was the family home in George Crescent, Riddings. However, there is no mention of Roy or Kath in that entry. Does this perhaps mean that mum maintained contact with Lynne and Anne (aged 15 and 9 in 1959) but not with Kath?

Baby Boom

There were a lot of babies born during this period as part of the post-war baby boom.

Jill Taylor

In March 1962, Dorothy Taylor (nee Lofthouse) had a baby daughter, Jill, who weighed in at 1am at 5½lbs (2.49kg). This was Dorothy’s second child with Heather having been born in August 1959.

Christopher Stephens

In May 1962, Marion Stephens (nee Slater) had a son, Christopher. Mum recorded this on 11 May 1962. However, the photo of him in July 1962 is labelled as 3½ months. I have not managed to find any details of his birth in either Q1 or Q2 of 1962.

Christopher Stephens July 1962

Christopher Ward

In October 1962, Hazel Ward (nee Munns) had a son, also called Christopher. He weighed in at 9.30pm at 7½lbs (3.40kg). Mum noted going to visit Hazel and Christopher on a trip to Kirkby in November 1962. 

Elaine Ollerenshaw

Also among mum’s photos was one of Elaine Ollerenshaw the daughter of Robert and Margaret (nee Bostock) who was born in January 1960. From Free BMD, it appears they may have had a second daughter, Susan, in Q4 1965.

Elaine Ollerenshaw at Christmas 1960

Kathryn Leach

In May 1962, Mary (and Derrick) Leach had a daughter, Kathryn (Mary) weighing in at 7lbs 10ozs (3.46kg). From FreeBMD, Mary’s maiden name was Allen. It appears that Derrick may have been James D Leach and that they married in Blackpool in Q3 1956.

Kathryn Leach December 1962

Nicole Rowe

In June 1963, Barbara (nee Spencer) (and Ron Rowe) had another daughter, Nicole. This was their second child with Sharon having been born in February 1957.

Peter Cirket

In November 1961, Rita (and Peter) Cirket had a third son who was also called Peter. The older Peter Cirket was mum’s first cousin. His father, Bert, was grandma’s brother. Peter and Rita’s other two sons were Adrian (b1956) and Bertram (Bertie) (b1958).

Many of Mum’s Norwich Friends Had Babies

Many of mum’s new friends in Norwich also had children around this time.

Paul Howe

Nancy Howe had a son, Paul, in June 1961. Mum has their surname recorded variably as Howe or Howes. According to FreeBMD, it appears to be Howe and Nancy’s maiden name was Thirtle.

Joanne Howlett

That same month, Rosemary Howlett had a daughter Joanne, weighing in at 8¼lbs (3.74kg). She already had a son, Jonathan, who had been born in January 1960. From FreeBMD, Rosemary’s maiden name was Hughes and she married Peter Howlett in Q1 1958. They had a third child Jennefer in Q1 1965.

Richard Smith

In November 1962, Joyce Smith had a son Richard who weighed in at 5lbs 10ozs (2.55kg). This was Joyce’s third child having previously had two girls, Janette (b1957) and Lesley (b1959). From FreeBMD, Joyce’smaiden name was Cooper and she married Eric Smith in Q2 1952. Lesley and Richard were both registered in Norwich Outer but Janette’s birth was registered in Bury St Edmunds.

Ruth Colver

In July 1963, Betty Colver had a daughter, Ruth. This was Betty’s second child with her son, Mark having been born in October 1959. From FreeBMD Betty’s maiden name was (Elizabeth) Dixon and she married Roger Colver in Q2 1954 in Rugby. Mark’s birth in 1959 had been registered in Sleaford.

Suzanne Blyth

Janet Blyth had a daughter, Suzanne, in September 1961. She previously had a son John who had been born in September 1959. Mum spelled this name Blythe but it is Blyth in FreeBMD. Apparently, her maiden name was Deeks and she married Anthony (Tony) Blyth in Q3 1958. Mum spelled her daughter’s name as Susanne but it is Suzanne in FreeBMD. Apparently, the Blyths had a third child, David, in Q2 1965.

Wendy Stonton

The diaries refer to a Wendy Stonton born in April 1960 but initially I was not sure exactly who this was. It turns out that she was the granddaughter of Annie Holmes’ sister.

Mum refers to her parents as Mr and Mrs George Stonton and she had a brother Ian born on 17 November 1957. A later diary gives their address as 64 Knights Lane, Kingsthorpe, Northampton.

According to FreeBMD, Wendy’s birth was registered in Northampton. Her mother’s maiden name was Letts. However, I could not find details of a Stonton-Letts wedding nor did I see how they connected to mum. But, there is a connection to Letts in Northampton as this was the married name of Mabel Aldridge, the sister of Annie Holmes. It turns out that Wendy’s mother was Pamela Stonton nee Letts and the reason I could not find any details of a Stonton-Letts wedding was because his name was mis-recorded as Stanton. Pamela Letts was the daughter of Alfred and Mabel Letts.

Ian and Martin Frost

Vera Frost had two sons during this period, Ian born in August 1960 and Martin born in October 1961. She had an older son, Kevin, born in Wayland in 1959. From FreeBMD, Vera’s maiden name was Curtis. She and Brian married in Birmingham in Q3 1956. A fourth son, Adrian, was born in Q2 1964.

Holiday with the Frosts in Bacton in 1963. Mum has labelled this as showing Kevin, Ian and Adrian Frost with me and Tricia. However, it can’t be Adrian as he was not born until 1964. I think the two boys sitting at the front are Kevin and Ian (although the boy in the second deckchair could be me!) and that it is Martin who is standing. This would mean that it is me and Tricia in the deckchairs at the back. Alan is not there as that is the time he was ill and in hospital.